These are tough times for advisers at the moment. Yes, your businesses are more resilient than most, mainly down to your efforts in recent years in building up a strong recurring income stream. But this still doesn’t fully compensate for the slowdown in new business that many of you are experiencing.
I know from recent conversations that some of you are finding it difficult to stay positive as prospective clients (and some of you yourselves) are slow to re-engage in face-to-face meetings on the back of Covid-19 concerns. After all, it can be difficult to pin prospects down at the best of times! Unfortunately I have to admit that I’ve seen a few advisers’ heads go down in the last few weeks….
So, it’s time for a collective pick-me-up. Here are a few thoughts to help get you going again.
Set yourself achievable daily goals
So the goals you set at the beginning of the year of seeing two clients every day are gone by the board. That’s ok, times have changed and you had no control of the change. But you can now re-frame your goals.
Don’t keep looking at how far you’re falling short of your turnover / recurring income target for 2020. Instead focus your effort and goals on the process, rather than the outcome. Set clear daily goals for yourself that are based on activity. We all know that as sure as night follows day, positive outcomes follow increased activity levels. Your goals might be,
- The number of prospects you will reach out to
- The number of existing clients you will phone
- The number of relationship “just checking in” emails you will send
- The blog post / social media activity you will carry out
Celebrate small wins
Don’t beat yourself up because you’re not writing €x,000 in new business every week. Instead celebrate your smaller wins – the number of positive client conversations you’ve had, the thank-you responses to your relationship emails. While on their own these might not seem to account for much, in time as the economy gets back to normal these clients will remember your support during the tough days.
Call in favours
Everyone knows that lots of small businesses are finding it tough at the moment. As a profession, financial advisers have always and consistently shown their spirit of community and helping nature. You tend to be good for an introduction, a referral, a client testimonial for one your suppliers and if you can help someone, you tend to do so.
Now it’s your turn. You need a little help, so ask for it. It might be for a referral, it might be for a testimonial for your website. Ask and you will generally receive.
Kiss the frogs
I learned this one from a friend of mine (you know who you are!) a few years ago. He was out of work for a while and his head never went down, even though the economic environment was tough at the time. When meeting him for (yet another) coffee, he told me about the number of meetings he had in the diary that week, just catching up with contacts. I remember saying how impressed I was that he was so active in staying out there at such a difficult time. His answer was that if he kissed enough frogs, one would eventually turn into a princess! A few weeks later, he landed pretty much his dream job, thanks to kissing lots of frogs.
Activity leads to better results. Make the calls, meet people for socially distanced coffees, even where the potential appears low. These are your frogs. It beats sitting in the office.
Do something / anything
On the theme of doing nothing, don’t let days slip past. Rather than twiddling your thumbs, achieve something every day. Review your proposition, your website, your marketing messages. Write a blog post. Even clean the office, but don’t do nothing.
Remember that this is temporary
The world might appear a little grim at the moment, but this will pass. There are better days ahead and you want to give yourself the best chance of hitting the ground running when they arrive.
So, small goals, small wins, seek help and stay busy. And keep kissing those frogs.